When it comes to building a healthier version of yourself, making changes within your life is a necessity. But as with most things in life, moderation is an ideal solution compared to resorting to extremes.
Losing weight is conceptually simple. The execution added with the intricacies of our everyday lives is where the difficulties arise.
Will you have to make some sacrifices to lose weight? Yes.
Will you have to sacrifice your identity and all the things that you enjoy just to lose weight? No way.
Despite what’s promoted across our newsfeed, healthy habits that are rigid are actually counterproductive and often short-lived. If you’re trying to create a body you love while living a life you love, here are four (counter-productive) healthy habits to avoid.
1. You have an all-or-none mentality
Everything is to the extreme and when this happens, you run the risk of making it a battle between your healthy lifestyle and your day-to-day life.
You view them as opposing forces instead of forces that can complement and enhance each other. Calorie counting, for example, gets out of hand as you start to obsess over each and every little gram in your daily life. Instead of using calorie counting as a tool to help teach you about food, you let it determine your self-worth for the day.
One mistake or food choice not on the meal plan leads to a viewpoint that the day was a failure. This type of mentality is rigid and lacking in perspective. The beauty about fitness is that there are a multitude of ways to reach your weight loss goals.
Many types of diets will lead to long-term weight loss. The key is to choose one that supports your goals and complements your desired lifestyle—not one that becomes the dictator of it.
2. You’re doing activities that you hate
There’s a huge constituent of people that are under the assumption that you must suffer or really drag yourself down into the ground in order to achieve results.
Losing weight doesn’t equate to automatic suffering. If you continually force yourself to do rigorous workouts that you despise or that aren’t suitable to your desired lifestyle, you’ll eventually quit.
Willpower only lasts so long. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into routines that don’t fit your life or that you don’t enjoy.
Try various forms of exercise and notice which ones bring the most joy.
3. Your self-worth about your body hinges on external opinions
Our mind at times will play games with us and make us feel less than. With social media, advertising at every corner, and celebrities instantly sprouting back into shape after having babies—our self-worth is tested at every corner we turn.
If these people can lose weight in a short time period, then why can’t we?
Relying on social media and other external sources for our validation is a recipe for disaster. Your journey is about you and only you. You can’t compare your journey to anyone else’s because all you see is their polished version that is portrayed on the surface.
You don’t see their rough draft and everything else that went into getting that polished version. Give yourself a break and stop comparing yourself to external sources.
As long as you’re being consistent and making small but incremental improvements within your daily life—results are going to come in due time. We often overestimate what can be accomplished in the short term and underestimate what can be accomplished in the long term.
4. You’re avoiding all of your favorite foods and activities
Forcing yourself to give up all your favorite foods and social engagements with friends isn’t necessary at all. In fact, by doing this, you’re building up resentment toward your new healthy lifestyle and will be more likely to quit in the long run.
Depriving yourself is a surefire way to lose your identity and increase your chances of binge eating down the road. Healthy eating doesn’t mean being ultra militant with your diet. It means adopting a habit that can be sustained over the long-term while still allowing you to occasionally indulge in your favorite foods with zero amounts of guilt, regret, or shame.
Life is far too short to never enjoy the pleasures that food provides.
Question for you: What’s another “healthy habit” that you think is actually counter-productive toward living a healthier lifestyle? Comment below.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.
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